"... she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know
it was Jesus."
Having been caught in the rain the last two days, I realized that I do not
have the same appreciation for water imagery (in today's readings) that a
desert dweller might possess. The Gene Kelly / Fred Astaire joy for a puddle
is not there for me. So much of what we appreciate is defined by our context
In today's first reading, Jeremiah talks about Israel's relation with God
having changed after they moved from the desert into the promised land. In
the Gospel, Mary Magdalene goes to the Jesus' tomb. She arrives with a certain
set of expectations. This predisposition contributes to her response.
Last week I was going to meet my wife and sons on the train. I had a good
idea which coach my wife would select. I boarded the train and headed toward
where I thought I would meet them. They had found a place for the four of
us one coach earlier than I expected. I would have walked passed them had
they not waved and called. I had looked directly at them, but I had not recognized
them where they were. I spent the next five minutes being chided for how inobservant
I was. I just didn't see what I wasn't expecting to see.
In the reading from Jeremiah, we see a relationship that has changed between
God and his people. Attention has not been given to this relationship. The
relationship has been taken for granted. God and his people have drifted apart
without this being remarkable to his nation. It is a relationship in need
of growth. Jeremiah makes a call for this development. He chides his people
for their lack of awareness.
In the Gospel, Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb and initially assumes
that Jesus' body has been stolen. She goes on to meet Jesus without recognizing
him. This seems to be something common to those who encounter the risen Jesus.
It is only with a prompt or a sign, that the eyes are opened. (I can imagine
the ways that the post-Calvary Jesus would be different. My guess is I would
have responded similarly.)
My prayer today is for open eyes and an open mind. I pray for the ability
to be aware. I pray for the ability to notice change.